Where Whine Meets Wine

This Is My Confession The Remix

I can’t even say “this is my confession…” without instantly hearing the Usher song in my head. But this really isn’t that kind of confession. Not a, I did this horrible thing and now my life is over  kind of confession, anyhow. Just a: this is my life. My real life. I’m not sugar coating things to make myself sound better, or wiser, or funnier… it’s the long and the short of it. This is my life as I feel it.

There is a lot of pressure in relationships (of all kinds- parenthood, marriage, friendships, work) for perfection, and as it turns out, I am not perfect. (*insert collective gasp here*) I make mistakes. (I know right?! I find it both shocking and appalling as well. Feel free to insert another gasp here.) But I am aware of my imperfections, my mistakes, my less-than-ness. At least most of the time. That said, sometimes I hold people in my life to a higher standard than I do myself. I accept that I am going to fall short (I don’t like that quality, but on most levels, I do accept it.), but somehow I have the tendency to believe that those I surround myself with, should try harder, do more, invest more, and toe the line…possibly more than I do. Even in typing this, I don’t like it. I don’t want to admit it. And I don’t want to be that way. I especially don’t want to admit it out loud, you know, where I can be quoted on it. But there you have it.

Hubbyman had a revelation of sorts this last week. He took a very long road trip with one of our dearly loved friends. Therefore he had more time than usual to process and talk. Probably more time than in the last 5 years. (And by probably, I mean definitely since this was the longest we’d been separated since military days.) This last week he has put forth a lot of effort to make sure I was feeling appreciated, and more than that, that I was feeling taken care of. The first day I was convinced he was in trouble for something, or was paving his way before getting into some trouble. Not because he’s proven that to be true previously, but because he doesn’t always live up to my expectations. I do not mean this disrespectfully or as an implication that he is not an amazing father, husband, and provider- because he definitely is all of those things. What I mean is that sometimes I have expectations for him that he cannot fulfill. They are often unfair, and occasionally unreasonable.  But there I’ve said it. Just like he sometimes is less than appreciative of the state of the house, despite how many hours I spend on a daily basis trying to keep it from looking like a hurricane went through it… sometimes I am underwhelmed at how much housework he gets done, or helps with, after he gets home from a long day of work. We all have our downfalls. I by no means am saying that we should no longer expect the best out of each other, or to lower the bar… but when do we start being realistic with each other? Can we know that we’re imperfect, with some acknowledgment that we’re trying out hardest to do our best within our imperfect capabilities? Doesn’t that count for something?

So here is my ultimate confession: Sometimes I have unrealistic expectations for my hubbyman and fail to acknowledge all the things he does do, or give him credit when he does go above and beyond the normal wear and tear of the day. Unfortunately, I don’t limit this to my husband, it’s also with my kids (It’s crazy how sometimes I can have the expectation for my CHILDREN to behave like anything other than CHILDREN.), my parents, brothers, sisters (yes, they’re in-law, but they’re still sisters), and even my friends. (Apparently it’s unreasonable for me to expect them to foresee all my needs and accommodate them. Weird.) So ladies and gentlemen, tell someone in your life who maybe you feel like isn’t pulling their weight (in your home, in your family, in your relationship/friendship, church… and I mean pulling their weight emotionally and time-wise, as much as I do actual work) that you are thankful for all the things that they actually do. Be grateful for the times when they do go above and beyond the call of duty. And then go one step further (c’mon, I dare you!), you go above and beyond for them. Whether it’s bringing home flowers for the first time in a year (or more), or you make a favorite meal and clean up the dishes afterwards, or even just sitting and listening- without rolling your eyes or acting annoyed (no matter what the topic!). Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference. Yesterday, my husband did the dishes three times. Once when he got home from work, once after dinner (that HE made), and once right before bed. Did I mention that he also made dinner?! And he also got out, thawed a little, and served me some of my wine slushie! Does it get better than that? Hardly.

I expected them to not want to go down the aisle...I did not expect them to fight for the rights to throwing the flowers all down the aisle. It ended in MissE dumping her basket rather than continuing to have to share in the flower throwing duties with her brother

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We’re expecting

As I sat out on my deck enjoying the beautiful weather yesterday, I couldn’t help but thinking, I’m going to cry if it snows again. Leave it to my husband to burst my bubble, but… we’re supposed to have snow this weekend (Ok, so he didn’t choose this weather, but because he informed me, that really becomes a moot point.). And I really may cry if we do see snow. We have, after all, had snow since October.

Anyways, this had me thinking about expectations… we expect spring to follow suit and spring into summer, but here that is not always the case.  It likes to dabble it’s way in and out until we’re in full meltdown, and then it’s winter again. Aren’t there many things in life this can relate to? We have expectations about so many things, both realistic and unrealistically. Like the expectation so many have that you’re going to live happily ever after, because you have found the one. My brother is getting married in less than a month and he and his fiancée spent the weekend with us, which also got me thinking about expectations. There was a little squabble about him not being willing enough to continue helping with the projects that are of course leaving this soon-to-be-bride a little frantic. Erik and I laughed and said, You think it’s hard now, just wait. (We’re so encouraging, right?) And we both reiterated that the first year or two or three… are spent learning each other in ways you maybe thought you already knew. And most importantly, you will learn how to fight with each other. I don’t mean you’ll learn how to defeat each other with one fell swoop (although you will learn which button to push to do just that). What I mean is that you will learn the way each other fights (this was a point from our pre-marital counselling that really was so helpful to us). You may learn that he needs to work issues out immediately or that she really needs to be given some space before being able to talk through an issue. Either way, you learn, and you adjust.

What does this have to do with expectations? Well, we expect things to be easy, we expect to continuously feel love, we expect to always feel/work/live/love as we do now. Unfortunately, what people often fail to take into consideration is this simple fact: Life does not just happen. We make choices. I think what it all boils down to, and what much of the last weeks’ Love Dare has been talking about, is that we can choose. We can expect the worst or expect the best, but if we’re not actively choosing the best, we’re not going to get it. Expectations are not the enemy, lack of choosing to pursue them, is. Especially in our relationships. As most newlyweds/new relationships of any kind (whether dating or friendships) you have this rush, this glow that you may feel defines your relationship and surely you will always get butterflies whenever you see them. I’m not saying you can’t have a great relationship throughout the years, what I am saying is that you have to actively pursue that. Because even though I have known my husband for hundreds of years (ok not that long, but 1/2 of my life! That’s gotta count for something!) he cannot read my mind! No matter how badly I want him to. He knows everything about me, all my secrets, all my fears, hopes, and dreams… and yet he cannot read my mind! And your other half can’t either. No matter how many sentences you can finish, no matter how many times you find the thing they were looking for (before they asked for it), no matter how much you can convey through looking at each other… Because he cannot read my mind, and because I often don’t speak what’s on it…we run into problems. And sometimes that leads me to days where I don’t particularly enjoy being his wife. And I think I can say with some authority, that on those days, he’s probably not enjoying being my husband either. But we choose to continue to be. Year five of our marriage was a bit tumultuous for us, as individuals we’ve had hard things emotionally and physically, and as a couple we’ve struggled between how to be a loving couple while working and raising children, very young and close in age children. And on the days that we weren’t really feeling like being active participants in this marriage, we choose to do it anyways. We chose to kiss each other goodnight, good-morning, and goodbye every day, even when we don’t really feel like it. Which is why, as we’re gaining on year 7… we’re not itching (you know, the 7 year itch). In fact, because we CHOSE to push our way through, to love our way through, to pray our way through…we are probably in the best place of our marriage, thus far. We are leaning on each other more, we trying to voice our feelings (especially the good ones) more, and we’re loving more thoroughly. But it is not by accident.

We believe in living with intention, and not just in our food. In our lives too- in our parenting, in our interactions with each other and with those around us, and in the way we love and show love. We don’t just believe in living that way, we practice it. It’s not perfect, and it’s not easy, but it is why I have the expectation that we’ll continue living and loving together as a family for as long as God allows.


Better Than Expectations Pizza

I know I mentioned previously doing pizza fridays (and I still really want to do that!) but because it was so good, I’m going to share this recipe with you now, on a plain old Wednesday! Friday I’m going out to buy an adapter for this stupid camera! So maybe Pizza Friday will be pictures! Anyways, the hubs texted me a couple weeks ago saying Buffalo Chicken Pizza sounded good. We’ve never had one before or made one, so I did what I do when something sounds good that I haven’t made before… I google as many recipes as I can. And then I make something completely different! Here is what I made:

Super Yummy Pizza Crust (Makes 2 small pizzas- fed four)

  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 3 tbs dried milk powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs olive oil (evoo)
  • 1 tsp cinder vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray sheet for easiest crust removal. Combine flours, dried milk, salt, baking powder, and xantham gum. In a separate bowl, whisk the water, oil, and vinegar. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flours, mixing slowly with a spatula until it is a smooth and soft, that just holds its shape (more than pancake batter but less than cookie dough). Transfer about 1/3 of the dough to a pastry bag, or resealable bag (what I used) with one corner snipped off. Divide remaining dough between the two pans, spreading it thinly with a spatula- about 7inch rounds. Pipe a raised, “rim” around the edge of each one. *Brush all over with egg white (1 egg white, lightly beaten) to help sealing and browning. Bake until puffed and starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Cover with pizza toppings, return to oven for another minutes, or until bubbling hot.

*This crust was SO good! I think next time I make it I will double the recipe to make bigger, and a little thicker crusts.

Flying Buffalo Chicken

  • 3 cups of chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or whatever your favorite hot sauce is)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour (I used tapioca flour)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp buttermilk ranch seasoning
  • Shredded Cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)

While pizza dough/crust is in the oven (you can of course buy or make whatever kind of crust you like best), I do the topping: cook chicken over medium-high heat. When a little over halfway cooked, add in hot sauce. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly.

My husband isn’t a big fan of blue cheese, but you could always do the “sauce” with a blue cheese dressing, or ranch dressing from bottles. You could also use the hot sauce as the pizza sauce if you wanted a stronger taste/flavor and then have something for dipping. I make my own sauce:

Combine butter, flour, milk, ranch seasoning (the only mix I could find that is MSG and food coloring free!) in saucepan over med. heat. Boil two minutes, stirring frequently. If seems too thick add milk (by the tsp) if it’s not thick enough add flour/starch (by pinches).

Spread sauce on crust (as much or as little as you want), spread chicken generously over pizza and cover in as much, or as little, cheese as you like.

Stick back in the oven for about 7 more minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted and bubbling.

Enjoy! I’m not a big “buffalo” flavor lover, but this was really good- we’ll definitely be making it again!

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